Your Menopause Self-Care Toolkit

A smiling woman in a towel relaxes with cucumber over her eyes.

Everyone is talking about self-care, and rightly so.  It is vital for managing our physical and mental wellbeing, ensuring we have a balance in our lives and that we don't neglect any of our needs.  This is all the more important during menopause as we are juggling the effects of hormonal fluctuations with work, children, caring for parents and running our own households and careers.  We have so many demands on us at this time of life that self-care needs to become an intrinsic part of the way we face each day.  If we look after ourselves well we can continue to look after those around us too.

Self-care has six main aspects.  They are:

  • physical
  • mental
  • emotional
  • spiritual
  • social, and
  • practical

Physical self-care is what you do to maintain your physical health.  This can include exercise, rest (balancing both to ensure you remain physically active in a sustainable way), managing your weight, seeking medical advice about any worrying symptoms, taking medication or using things like joint supports to enable you to continue with exercise when you experience menopause-related joint pain.  It is anything you need to do (or not do) in order to look after your body.

Mental self-care is all about keeping your mind healthy and this often incorporates mindfulness and meditation.  Mental self-care aims to achieve a calm, peaceful state of mind, or at the very least to keep you feeling mentally balanced and prepared for what life may throw at you.  There may be some overlap between this and your emotional self-care.

Emotional self-care means looking after your emotional state, allowing yourself to feel and experience your emotions and to process them in healthy ways.  Emotional self-care can mean looking for healthier coping strategies for difficult times, as sometimes our go-to coping mechanism can be causing us other problems.  Swapping chocolate for meditation or 10 minutes barefoot in the garden can give us the same emotional release but with only positive effects on our physical health.  You may consider counselling or a support group to help with emotional self-care – whether it's with a friend, a stranger, or a group, talking things through really helps.

Spiritual self-care sounds like it involves religion, but it really just means any activity that takes you outside yourself and grounds you in the wider picture of life.  For some people this means prayer and religion, while for others meditation or volunteering can be a spiritual exercise.  Self-care looks different for everyone and this difference is especially marked in this area.

Social self-care is easier to define, it's maintaining relationships with our friends and family and making time to enjoy the company of the people who make up our blood and chosen families.  Social self-care can include spending time with adult children, or with our own parents as well as those fun gossipy afternoons with the girls.  Some of us will want a lot of social contact, while other are happy with our own company so social self-care, for some people, will mean choosing small amounts of quality social time over lots of engagements.

Finally, practical self-care is all the things we do to make life as easy as it can be.  Practical self-care includes taking medications, engaging with our healthcare teams and taking supplements or shakes like our MenoShake to give us a stable base from which to live our lives as we want to.  It could mean hiring a cleaner to give you some down-time or to remove an activity that causes pain from your to-do list.  It could mean getting blackout curtains or new, cool touch bedding to improve your sleep, or it could take the form of writing and sticking to a meal plan to help you manage your weight and nutrition. 

Take 10 minutes this evening to start your self-care toolkit.  Divide a sheet of paper into six sections with the bullet point headings above to create your bespoke self-care toolkit.  Don't worry if you don't have something written in every box because no two self-care plans are the same.  The important thing is to focus on what works for you to keep you happy and healthy during menopause and beyond.

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